This 4-acre gem is nestled in Coral Gables, Florida only a few miles from Miami. Completed in 1924 this is a spectacular swimming pool built into what was at one time a rock quarry.
Coral Gables residents can get in for about 5$ but non-residents are charged 15$. There are also plenty of do’s and don’ts! For example, don’t bring a cooler as these are not allowed. There is plenty of parking and even when the standard lot is full no one seemed to mind overflow parking on the lawns of neighboring properties. Do come early enough as after our arrival we heard on the loudspeakers that they we’re filled to capacity and would not be selling more tickets. Likely less of an issue on weekdays, but watch out on holidays and weekends!
The property itself is just beautiful. The old clay tiled roof main building looks like it could be in Tuscany. The spring-fed pool is huge and up to 8½ ft deep in spots. Kids can get life jackets and there are plenty of exit ladders and we counted three lifeguards. The property had a fast food cafe, lockers, large bathrooms and changing areas. Be sure to check out the old photo collection of 1920’s swimsuits and historical visitors.
While we did go on a Sunday afternoon and there seemed to be two birthday parties going on at the time, we must say that it was difficult to find a little spot in the shade to lay our towels. The grounds have plenty of trees and bushes but some areas were cordoned off and with so many people (they were filled to capacity) it was tough to get a spot. Next time we might take them up on their chair rental offer, there was a mock beach area next to the pool filled with sand in which we saw some of the rental beach chairs, which looked comfortable.
The water itself is crystal clear and perhaps 80 degrees. Once in, it was pleasant to swim and the large area makes for a good workout. There is a little cave or grotto, which can be entered under one of the lifeguard posts. Be sure to check out the large waterfall where you can get behind the falling water for some good photos. Bring your waterproof camera for lots of fun.
Venetian pool is the only pool listed in the National Register of Historic Places. At 820,000 gallons and 3,100 cubic meters of water it’s the largest fresh water pool in the United States. We were actually shocked to hear that the pool is drained daily and refilled but have come to learn that the water is actually drained back into the Florida aquifers (thanks to a solution devised in 1998, which uses natural ground filtration recycling the fresh water).
We are glad to have found this spot and have to thank one of our new Florida friends, Gary, that suggested we explore it. It’s a fun way to cool off for sure, and a historical landmark to enjoy!